War echoes

The war was over but not forgotten.


Honours and Promotions

Temporary Captain G H B Chance (MGC) to be Temporary Major (November). Harry D West (RGA) is Farrier Sergeant Major (date unknown).


Private William West (MGC), died in France (of broncho-pneumonia).


Private F J Painter (5th Royal Berks)

Christmas Parcels

In view of the difficulties both of obtaining things to send, and of ascertaining correct addresses, and also in consideration of the fact that hostilities are suspended, Mr Willink has made no arrangements for sending parcels this season to sailors and soldiers. They may be sure, however, that they are not forgotten by all at home.

The Influenza

This epidemic, which has amounted to a veritable plague, seems to be abating in this country. We are told that throughout the world it has directly, or by after-effects, caused over 6 million deaths, more than the number reported from action of this war of 4 ½ years.


Peace and Thanksgiving Campaign

The war may be practically over, but money is still urgently required for a time. The National War Savings Committee have been called on by the Government to make one more big effort during the period ending with next autumn. Berkshire’s share is assessed at £900,000, of which our Bradfield Local Committee are asked to raise £50,000. with this object, Lantern Lectures, with excellent slides, will be given in each Association’s area from January to April. The present arrangements for Burghfield are:

January 8th War on Land
February 5th War in Italy
March 5th War at Sea
April 2nd War in the Holy Land

The first and third will be at the Handicraft Room, Mrs Bland’s School; the second and fourth in the Jubilee Room or the C of E School, 7 o’clock in all cases.

The Committee hope that readers of the magazine will make these facts known, and do their best to see that the campaign is a success.

A Burghfield War Memorial

It is, perhaps, too soon to begin public consultation of this matter. But it is not too soon to begin thinking about it. Probably we are all agreed that there should be some visible memorial of this Great War to keep alive the recollection of the working part playing in it by Burghfield men.

Burghfield parish magazine, January 1919 (D/EX725/4)

The best return that can be made to those who have fought for us

Earley adults were urged to follow the thrifty patriotism of teenage girls.

Our Girls’ Club have contributed no less a sum than £305 in the War Savings Fund. A letter to the Journal of the War Savings Committee contains a strong appeal to those who are saving nothing. The best return that can be made to those who have fought for us on their return, will be the greeting that we at home have been careful, saving, and have put by something out of our earnings for them. How can we meet them if in return for the hardships they have borne we have been spending money thoughtlessly and carelessly? A War savings certificate is in reach of us all.

Earley St Bartholomew parish magazine, March 1918 (D/P192/28A/15)

The Serbian boys living amongst us here in Reading

Some of the refugees living in Reading came from Serbia, first battleground of the war.

The Vicar’s Notes

Miss Parkinson’s lecture on Serbia should go far towards re-kindling our interest in Serbia, and especially in the Serbian boys living amongst us here in Reading. There will be special collections for the local work of the Serbian Relief Fund at S. Mary’s on Sunday, March 10th.

Probably all our readers have heard of “Monitor” week, which is to be held in Reading from March 4th to 9th. We are all going to do our best by means of our savings to get together £250,000, which is roughly, the price of a “Monitor” ship. Sir Robert Kindersley, chairman of the National War Savings Committee, gave us a splendid lead at the Town Hall on February 22nd.

Reading St Mary parish magazine, March 1918 (D/P98/28A/16)

Racy remarks from a soldier on leave

Members of the men’s group at Broad Street Church in Reading were urged to set up a war savings scheme.


During the month [of September], in common with other Brotherhoods in the district, we took up a collection on behalf of the Shilling Fund which is being raised by the “Reading Standard” for the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and our members contributed the magnificent sum of 104 shillings. This is one of the best individual collections made by our society for some time.

It is an object which has the sympathy of all our members.

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed back our assistant secretary Brother A H Cooper on his leave. He certainly looks well, and his racy remarks were much appreciated.

At the invitation of our committee, Miss Darker, secretary of the Reading Local Central Committee of the National War Savings Committee, addressed members on Sunday afternoon, September 16th, and very ably and tactfully explained the war savings scheme.

Her remarks were attentively listened to, and the frequent applause leaves little doubt that the committee will consider it advisable to form a Broad Street PSA Brotherhood War Savings Association.

Reading Broad Street Congregational Magazine, October 1917 (D/N11/12/1/14)

All patriotic people recognise that they should spend as little as possible on themselves at the present time

Winkfield people were encouraged to join a new war savings movement.


It is hoped that we may be able to form in this parish a War Savings Association, and so a meeting to discuss a scheme and, if possible, start a local Association, will be held on Friday, March 16th, at 7 p.m. in the Men’s Club Room, Winkfield Row.

All patriotic people recognise that they should spend as little as possible on themselves at the present time, so as to be able to lend what they can save to the Nation to help to pay for the war, and a War Savings Association enables members to purchase the 15/6 War Savings Certificates on better terms than they could do as individual investors.


A meeting to discuss the formation of a War Savings Association and a Parish War Society was held at the men’s Club Room on Friday, March 16th, when there was a good attendance.

The Vicar put forward some suggestions for rules to form the basis of a Parish War Society, the objects of which should be to promote the production of more food, to encourage thrift and saving and the loyal carrying out of the Food Controller’s requirements. Mr Burridge, who kindly came from Bracknell explained the working of a War Savings Association, and a motion by Mr. Asher was carried that a Committee consisting of Messrs. G. Brown, H. Harrison, C. Osman, J. Street, and the Vicar, should be appointed to go into these matters and take the necessary steps for the formation of a War Savings Association.

The Committee met the next day and decided to apply at once for affiliation to the National War Savings Committee for a Winkfield War Savings Association, with the Chairman the Vicar, Treasurer Mr. C. Osman, Secretary Mr. Tipper.

Arrangements have been made to receive payments on Mondays at 7 p.m. at the Club Room, Winkfield Row, by Mr. Tipper; on Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Parish Room by Mr. King; or parents with children at the Schools can send their money to be received by Miss Harris.

The Secretary will be glad to furnish full information to any applicants.

Winkfield section of Winkfield District Magazine, March and April 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/3-4)

This is a War the determination of which lies quite as much with the non-combatants as with the combatants

Civilians were urged to make sacrifices at home.

The National War Savings Committee

Dear Sir,-

The splendid work which is being done by the Members of our Committees and Associations all over the Country encourages me to send you this appeal.

There are still many people at home who do not appear to realise that having decreed that others shall fight for us, it has become our most sacred obligation to see that no single life of our fighting men shall be sacrificed by reason of failure on our part to do everything we can to shorten the conflict and make victory certain and complete.

We all know that three of the most pressing questions of the moment are supply of man power, the maintenance of our payments to Neutrals for War supplies and the checking of the continuous rise in prices of food stuffs and other commodities. Personal expenditure has an immediate influence on these problems. If we keep our private purchases within the narrowest limits compatible with health and efficiency, we release the labour of men and women which we should otherwise be using for our personal satisfaction and set it free for more urgent National work. We increase our available man power, we enable more of the necessities of life to be produced, and we can make more Munitions of War and more goods to be exported in exchange for War supplies or food stuffs from abroad. By reducing our expenditure we tend to reduce our imports and we lessen the competition for food stuffs and commodities of all kinds, and thus help to keep prices within reasonable bounds.

In the final stages of the War, Man Power, financial stability and the cost of living will be the governing factors. Every shilling we now spend unnecessarily weakens the staying power of the Allies, and will make it more difficult to bring about a satisfactory and lasting peace.

It is doubtless very difficult for many people to appreciate the extraordinary problems which this World War has provided, and to see clearly the close relationship of cause and effect that there is to-day between personal expenditure and the expenditure of life at the front. But the truth of the matter is, that this is a War the determination of which lies quite as much with the non-combatants as with the combatants.

Great efforts are being made by the National Committee and the War Savings Committees throughout the Country to bring home this truth to the whole of our people. The response in many quarters has been remarkable, but it is common knowledge that there is still a great deal of extravagance and unnecessary expenditure. It is essential that those whose position is such that this example carries great weight among their neighbours, should adopt the utmost simplicity in their mode of living, and in every way possible give an outward and visible sign of their determination to help their Country in its time of need by abstaining from every kind of indulgence.

It is not necessary to go through all the different items upon which we are accustomed in peace time to spend our money. The principle, once understood, can be applied to the whole of our personal expenditure, which can be brought into review and considered in the light of the fundamental necessity for releasing labour for National Service.

The Members of the many hundreds of War Savings Committees, and the many thousands of War Savings Associations now affiliated to the National Committee, are in a position to make known the essential facts to the people of this Country, and I make this personal appeal, trusting that you will not spare yourselves in the effort to convince all those with whom you may come into contact, of the grave responsibility which rests upon the Civilian population to-day to support with all their means those who, with supreme self-sacrifice, are risking everything in dangerous Service for their Country in every part of the world. –

Yours Faithfully,
Salisbury Square, Fleet St., E.C., 14th Dec., 1916

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, January 1917 (D/P181/28A/26)

“The knowledge that one was lessening the incredible sufferings and hardships our soldiers and sailors were hourly undergoing”

The war was putting a catastrophical strain on the country’s financial position.

A Successful Meeting

It is not always that a meeting passes from the academic into the practical, and the conveners and chairman of the meeting held at S. Giles’ Hall, London Street on Friday 3rd November are to be congratulated upon having achieved this.

The Vicar the Rev, F.J.C. Gillmor. M.A. , introduced the speaker, Mr. A.T. Tudor, by confessing that he himself was anxious to become a member, and see an association formed, as the necessity for such Associations everywhere was apparent.

Mr. Tudor, representing the local committee, of which the mayor is chairman, briefly outlined the objects of the National Committee, which he stated was formed as an outcome of recommendations made in the report of the committee on War Loans for the small investor dated January last, its objectives being:

1. To stimulate the sentiment and urge the need for economy.
2. To promote the formation of War Savings Associations.
3. To secure for the nation, through these associations, a certain amount of the money required for the prosecution of the War.
The year’s estimated national expenditure up to the 31st March next is 1825 millions, that is 5 millions a day, and as the pre-War amount was roughly only 200 million [per year], it was clear that unless everyone in every sphere lent a hand to help produce the remaining 1,600 millions the treasury was faced with unnecessary anxieties.

Mr. Tudor confessed that he objected to the “don’t” leaflets of the national committee and urged that English people should be left to arrange their own economy’s [sic], beginning when health and efficiency were secured. It was clear however that the possibilities of small savings were immense, as evinced by the 10 million raised by these associations, during the month of August, and locally also some 30 associations were already harmoniously working.

Apart from the attractiveness of the investment, which was an easy first in the history of any country anywhere at any time, there was the knowledge that one was lessening the incredible sufferings and hardships our soldiers and sailors were hourly undergoing for us all. This in itself should bring everyone in.

The fleet was mobilised the army was mobilised, and now it remained for the money to be mobilised.

The central committee were anxious to get in touch with everyone willing to help encourage and promote War Savings Associations, for their autumn campaign included activities from which it was hoped that every school, firm, factory and religious body be gathered in.
Mr Tudor instanced the valuable work done in certain departments of the Great Western Railway Company’s Works.

The meeting was unanimous in passing the following resolution, and the following were nominated and accepted office in the Association:

Chairman: Rev O.F. Spearing, M.A.
Secretary : Mr. Rowe.
Treasurer: Mr. A.T. Higgs.
With a most useful committee.

Resolved: That this meeting of S. Giles’ parishioners ; appreciating “that the obligation to provide in one way or another all that is necessary for the purposes of the war is a command to all citizens,” welcomes this opportunity for the forming an association forthwith;to be called the “S. Giles Parish War Savings association.”

It was hoped to obtain permission of the Governors of Reading Savings Bank for members to pay in there, and some 20 members promptly paid their initial subscriptions there and then.

In case this should meet the eye of anyone wishing to join who was not present at the meeting, the Hon. Secretary, Mr Rowe, will welcome the opportunity of sending them a card.

Reading St Giles parish magazine, December 1916 (D/P96/28A/33)

“The country wants every penny it can get for the war”

The County Council’s War Savings (Education) Sub-committee sent out to the Head Teacher of each primary school they controlled in the county (i.e. everywhere but Reading) a circular letter to encourage children and parents to contribute to the costs of the war:

Shire Hall
10 July 1916

Dear Sir (or Madam)


The Education Committee have been approached by the National War Savings Committee, and requested to promote in Berkshire, by all means in their power, the practice of saving among persons of all classes, particularly in ways calculated to assist the Government in their efforts to raise funds for the war. A small special War Savings Committee has accordingly been appointed, with certain limited powers.

Inquiries have been made by them as to the extent to which organisations already exist, in direct connection with elementary schools in the county, for the encouragement and maintenance of penny banks or other forms of saving. It appears that no less than 105 out of the 205 schools (council and voluntary) make no claim to the possession of any such organisation; and that even of the remaining 100 a certain number can point to no more than such institutions as clothing clubs or coal clubs, which, however useful in themselves to the depositors, can have practically no relation to the objects aimed at by the National Committee.

In many parishes organisations for war savings may have been established otherwise than in connection with the schools; and they have no wish to interfere with these… In particular they desire to avoid action calculated to produce the fictitious result of apparently benefitting the nation by investing in War Loan at high interest money which is already in the Post Office Savings Banks, at lower interest. Although this may profit the individual, it inevitably casts a corresponding new burden upon the State.

These objections, however, do not apply to any system of saving which leads to the investment of fresh money in any of the various forms of War Loan…. The most advantageous method of purchasing War Savings Certificates is through the medium of “Associations” formed for the purpose, which apply to the National War Savings Committee for affiliation. All books, forms &c, are supplied free.

The Committee urge that where in any school there is not already an existing Savings Scheme, the Managers should meet without delay and take steps to establish a War Savings Association, which need not be restricted to school children. In doing so, they can hold out to depositors the certainty of greater personal advantage than ever before. But they ought to appeal even more strongly to the patriotism of their parish. The country wants every penny it can get for the war, which is costing at present £5,000,000 a day, say £57 per second. Taxation alone cannot produce this. There must be borrowing. If the supply runs short, our military and naval operations are hindered and the war will last longer.

The extraordinary thing is that those who lend money to the nation are not only helping the war, but are also helping themselves. And they are doing so in two ways, first by having by, on good terms, money which they may very probably want in the difficult days after the war, and, secondly, by getting into the habit of saving, which when wisely used is one of the most solid foundations of security and well-being.

W C F Anderson
Education Secretary

Berkshire County Council minutes (C/CL/C1/1/19)